The Inuvik Youth Centre got a boost for its proposed outdoor basketball court Feb. 19, as 100 People Who Care Inuvik chose to devote $3,200 to the project during its quarterly meeting at the Midnight Sun Complex.
Inuvik Youth Centre coordinator Matthew Skinner made the presentation.
“We have an indoor basketball net at the centre and it’s one of our most used accessories by the youth,” said Skinner. “We always have at least three or four youth playing basketball consistently throughout the whole year. By having one outside, we’d encourage youth to go outside in the summertime.”
Inuvik’s 100 People Who Care is an organization made up of approximately 50 community members who meet every three months and donate $100 each to a local charity.
The proposed basketball court will be open year-round. Skinner said that the plan is to convert it into a hockey rink during the winter season.
“In the North, especially here in Inuvik, hockey is really big and one of our most loved sports, but there’s no place for the youth to play year-round that’s safe and off the road,” he said. “Not all youth have hockey sticks, nets and balls or equipment to play. By having this court right next to us, we can provide that for all our youth.”
The centre was used by an average of 45 youth per day last year, according to Skinner.
He added that the court will open to the public, with the main goal to just have an outdoor space nearby for the youth to play sports.
“It’ll be nice to try and get some new facilities out for the youth of Inuvik. I’m pretty excited for it,” he said.
With the funding in place, Skinner said that the next step is to consult with Skookum Asphalt Ltd., a Yukon-based construction company, to help build the court.
“We’d like to approach them and have a paved outdoor basketball court with one basketball net into the cement,” he said.
The centre’s mandate is to create access to opportunities for youth to provide them with a better future, and Skinner said that by engaging youth in sports, he hopes that it will keep them in school.
“A healthy and vibrant community starts with a healthy and vibrant youth,” he said.